When the WYS Holly Berry Christmas yarn and the delectable Cherry Drop arrived into Knitting Squirrel’s Yarnshop in December, it was accompanied by the free WYS Holly Berry Christmas Socks pattern designed by Emma Wright. My mum fell in love with these socks when she saw the pattern, so I decided to knit them for her for Christmas.
I was a little late casting on these socks and wasn’t at all sure that they would be finished in time! Which, is also the case with this post which I had intended to post in mid January!! It seems a little bizarre to be writing a post about Holly Berry Christmas Socks in February but better late than never?
My sock knitting method of choice is cuff down, these socks are knit toe up, so this was a little bit tricky. It meant, I really wasn’t completely au fait with all the techniques involved. This was compounded by an error in the pattern instructions for the increases for the toe, so in the end after I’d tried to knit the toe using the pattern instructions and it just didn’t work and I’d unravelled for the second time, I cast on for the toe and then looked up one of my sock knitting books to check on their instructions for increasing for the toe.
I was also a little bit concerned as I progressed onto the sock foot about the choice of 3.25mm double pointed needles for knitting this sock. I thought that as the pattern had a lot of travelling stitches that it would need this needle size. But I really wasn’t sure about it as the sock progressed. As the pattern included lots of little bobble holly berries I decided these were really going to be slipper socks and maybe it wouldn’t matter if they were a little loose.
The worry involved with knitting these socks became annoyance when I realised that the instructions for the Right Foot were actually the instructions for the Left Foot and vice versa, if the holly berries were going to run up the outside of each foot. To make sure that I didn’t make any errors regarding this, I changed all of these around in the pattern.
But simple errors like this left me a little nervous as I knit my way closer to the heel instructions. Any worries I had about the heel were completely unfounded! I followed the instructions exactly as written and the heel turned out perfectly. The only change I made, was that when I started the heel using the Cherry Drop, I didn’t cut the Holly Berry yarn, I left it in place and when I finished the heel, I knit across the top of the heel using my Holly Berry yarn to place me in the correct position for starting the next set up round. This also meant that I had a cleaner looking change from the Cherry Drop heel to the Holly Berry leg which I liked.
I continued with the pattern for the really quite short leg section. As my leg section finished on the same colour as the Cherry Drop, I decided to knit an extra 2 rounds of garter stitch using the Holly Berry before knitting the Cherry Drop garter stitch cuff as I wanted to have a contrast between the leg and the cherry drop garter stitch cuff.
I followed the instructions exactly as written for the scalloped cast off. The first time I did this, I was concerned at how loose this cast off was coming out. So I undid this and started the cast off again using needles a size smaller. I still felt the edge was a little too flared but the cast off edge on the socks in the photo on the front of the pattern are also a bit flared.
If I’d had time, I would have reknit this sock using 3mm needles as I felt the socks were just a little too large. But I didn’t have time so I cast on for the second sock as Christmas was coming up rather too quickly and I needed to have both socks finished.
The instructions for the holly leaves were perfect and I liked how they came out. I wet blocked each leaf and pinned it out so that all the points would be nicely pointy. The only change I made was that the pattern said to use the lighter green stripes for knitting the holly leaves. I didn’t want to unravel half a ball of yarn to take out the light green so I knit two lighter green holly leaves and two darker green holly leaves instead. I liked how this came out.
So on Christmas Eve I washed the socks and put them onto my sock blockers and then on top of the radiator to try and get them dry so I could giftwrap them for Christmas Day. Yes this present really did run very close to being a wrapped IOU rather than a pair of pretty slipper socks.
Mum loves them and doesn’t mind that they are a little bit loose. She pops them on when she’s relaxing in the lounge in front of the fire.
In fact, I had to borrow the socks from her to wash and block again for photographing for this post, as there was no time to photograph them before I gave them to her. I really must start knitting my Christmas presents earlier in the year. It would make life at a rather busy time of the year a tad less stressful if I wasn’t having to set myself deadlines for gift knitting. I’ve quite a lot of yarn leftover (shown in the photo above) from knitting this pair of socks and haven’t decided what to do with it yet. I did cast on for a hat using the Cherry Drop but then changed my mind.
I have a few balls of this cute yarn left in the shop WYS Holly Berry is for sale here and the Cherry Drop is here. I also have some of the free patterns so if you fancy casting on these socks for next Christmas you’ll have plenty of time to finish your socks!